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May, 27

IPL franchises hone in on untapped categories and brands for this season

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From “prayer partner” to “drone partner”, Indian Premier League franchises have inked some unique brand partnerships as part of their monetisation strategies. Teams have also stepped up focus on merchandise licensing deals as well as other tech-based innovations such as digital collectibles and NFTs.

Take for instance, the Delhi Capitals that has roped in incense stick brand, Zed Black, as its “prayer partner”, the first of its kind partnership with a T20 League team. The brand believes this will help it garner deeper distribution. Dhiraj Malhotra, CEO, Delhi Capitals in a statement said that it “adds a wonderful dimension of spirituality to an otherwise high-octane sporting event.” Similarly, Chennai Super Kings has roped in start-up Garuda Aerospace as the “official drone partner”.

Garnering attention

Giraj Sharma, Founder-Director of brand consultancy firm Behind the Moon said such deals can help brands garner national eyeballs. “It also helps them gain a certain amount of clout and muscle to grow their distribution,” he added.

Meanwhile, Gujarat Titans has got Nestle Munch as “official chocolate partner”, Croma as the “official electronics partners” and Rario as the “NFT” partner. Punjab Kings has got B Natural as the “official fruit beverage” partner. boAt has teamed up with Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Titans as their “official audio and wearable partner” besides renewing its deal with Kolkata Knight Riders.

Infact, some brands have inked deals with IPL teams for the first time, enabling franchises to bring onboard previously untapped brands and categories. Qatar Airways, which has entered the Indian sports market for the first time, as the main principal partner of Royal Challengers Bangalore is a case in point.

Teams have also stepped up their focus on merchandise licensing deals. Bombay Shaving Company, the “official grooming partner” of Rajasthan Royals has launched a co-branded range of shaving and grooming products.

Opening Match

Meanwhile, IPL 2023 kickstarted with a bang on Friday. Viacom18 said that over 6 crore unique viewers tuned in for the Gujarat Titans vs Chennai Super Kings match on JioCinema. The total match views on Day 1 touched 50 crore, it said, while adding that JioCinema registered over 2.5 crore downloads.





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